A good night’s sleep is critical to productivity and ultimately, success. And a lack of sleep can result in poor performance at work, lower energy levels, forgetfulness and serious health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, it might be time to start. Sleep is the basis for a healthy, productive and balanced life both in and out of the office.
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is between seven and nine hours every night. So, are you getting that? If you answered “no,” then don’t worry, we’ve got some tips for you. To get more sleep at night and feel energized every morning, here are seven science-backed things you can do.
1. Wear socks to bed
Falling asleep can be a major challenge sometimes. However, it’s important to push aside any stresses from the day and get some shuteye. One way to help you fall asleep is by wearing socks to bed. Research published in Nature revealed that warm feet can help a person fall asleep quicker.
2. Picture your favorite place
Forget about counting sheep, and instead think of a place that makes you calm and happy. In a study conducted by Oxford University, researchers asked a group of insomniacs to imagine one of their favorite places while trying to fall asleep, and asked another group of insomniacs to either count sheep or do nothing at all.
In the end, the insomniacs who pictured their favorite places fell asleep an average 20 minutes before the others.
3. Dunk your face in ice cold water for 30 seconds
If stress has followed its way into bed with you, one surefire way of getting rid of it is by immersing your face in ice-cold water for 30 seconds. Doing so prompts an involuntary phenomenon called “Mammalian Dive Reflex,” which instantly lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, making it much easier to fall asleep.
4. Listen to classical music
One great way to ensure a solid night’s sleep is to listen to some relaxing music, like classical. However, any music with a rhythm between 60 and 80 beats per minute will do the trick. In an earlier study, researchers found that when students between the ages of 19 and 28 listened to classical music 45 minutes before going to bed, the quality of their sleep significantly improved.
5. Lower the thermostat
One of the best ways to fall and stay asleep is by lowering the temperature of your room. A study conducted by the University of South Australia discovered that a cool room not only results in better sleep but also helps cure insomnia.
Because when you sleep, your body temperature has to drop in order for sleep to be initiated. By sleeping in a cool room, you’re speeding up the process.
6. Perfume your room with lavender
Lavender has long been known for its therapeutic powers. The smell of it is known to relax nerves and lower blood pressure.
To test this theory, researchers at Wesleyan University asked a group of people to sniff lavender oil for two minutes at three 10 minute intervals before going to bed. As a result, these people reported significant improvements in sleep quality and felt more vigorous in the morning.
7. Take a hot shower
It might be time to nix your morning shower in favor of a nighttime one. While hot showers have a number of benefits like a boost in creativity and an improvement in performance, research also shows they help people fall asleep quicker.
Taking a shower approximately 90 minutes before hitting the hay will help you relax, but also give your body enough time to drop in temperature and prepare for bed.